|Birth: ||Dec. 22, 1830|
|Death: ||Mar. 17, 1907|
DR. WILLIAM H. COOKE, of Clarendon, has enjoyed a remarkable career in the profession of dentistry. Remarkable, in the first place, for its length, since it has been over half a century from the day when he did his first professional work; remarkable, too, for the energy and enthusiasm with which he has prosecuted his life work, and during all these years and notwithstanding the almost revolutionary changes which have been wrought by the progress of dental science, elevating its practice from an art into a profession, he has maintained his place in the forefront rank of his fellow practitioners, and is as modern and up-to-date today as he was fifty years ago; and remarkable, as a matter of course from what has been stated, in the eminent success which he has gained wherever he has been located, and he has attained both professional prominence and great material prosperity, and is recognized as one of the most substantial men of Clarendon and of Northwest Texas.
Dr. Cooke is the wonder and admiration of his friends in that, though now almost at the seventy-fifth milestone of life, he has preserved his youthful spirits and energy almost intact, and is still a man of perfect health and activity. Born in McMinn county, east Tennessee, December 22, 1830, he belonged to one of the oldest and most prominent families of that region, being a son of H. C. and Mary (Wood) Cooke. His father, a native of Culpeper county, Virginia, came to east Tennessee in the pioneer days, in 1814. He established a plantation on the old Starr Indian reservation, buying his land from Caleb Star, the head of the noted Cherokee Indian family of that name. This old plantation remained the home of H. C. Cooke until his death in 1859. He was a planter and slave owner. Mary (Wood) Cooke, the mother, was born in east Tennessee, of a Virginia family, and died in Bonham, Texas, in 1886, at the age of eighty years.
Dr. Cooke was reared on the old McMinn county plantation, and he received a good literary education at Hiwosee College. He began preparation for the medical profession, studying under Dr. James Carson, but when his preceptor later became interested in dentistry the pupil also decided to adopt that profession, continuing his studies under Dr. Carson. He made his first gold plate in October, 1853, so that he has since had opportunity to celebrate the golden anniversary of that event. His first practice was at Cleveland, Tennessee, and in those early days of dentistry there were only three others of similar occupation in that part of the country. Early in 1861, at the beginning of the Civil war, Dr. Cooke enlisted in the Confederate service, in Company G, Third Tennessee Regiment, and was sent to the drilling camp to prepare for active field service. But upon the recommendation of a friend, Colonel Brazilton, he was transferred to the position of chemist in the Nitre and Mining Corps, which was organized by the Confederacy to procure materials for and to manufacture ammunition. He was stationed in this capacity at Dandridge, Tennessee, until 1863, and from that time until the end of the war was at Asheville, North Carolina. From the latter place he procured and shipped quantities of saltpeter for making ammunition.
After the war he returned to Cleveland, Tennessee, and resumed his dental practice, which he continued until 1876. He then came to Texas, and for some fifteen years was located at Bonham, and in 1890 moved to Denton, where he went into partnership with his cousin, Dr. Carson, a son of his old preceptor. He practiced in Denton until July, 1897, when having acquired a ranch and some cattle in Donley county, he came to Clarendon and has practiced here ever since.
Dr. Cooke is and always has been an indefatigable student, especially in his profession, and has constantly kept up with the advance in his science. He enjoys a large practice and makes money in all branches of his work. He has held the belief that one is never too old to learn, especially in the dental profession, and during 1872-73 he took a course and graduated at the St. Louis Dental College, and in 1882-83 he took further courses in the dental department of the University of Tennessee at Nashville. He is a member of the National Dental Association, the Southern Dental Association and the Texas Dental Association, and in the last named he has missed but one meeting since 1882.
His ranch and farm consists of two section of land eight miles east of Clarendon. Besides his cattle, he has two hundred acres in cultivation devoted to general farm products, and in the six years that he has been raising crops he has never yet recorded a failure, which is a creditable record not only to his fine ranch and farm but to the general possibilities and resources of this great Panhandle country.
Dr. Cooke is a member of the Baptist church, and is affiliated with the Masons. He was married at Charleston, Tennessee, in 1857 to Miss Mary A. Cantz, and their five children have since grown up to careers of usefulness in their respective communities. The children are: Mrs. Annie Cooke Briggs, wife of Dr. J. R. Briggs, who owns a large and successful sanitarium at Oak Cliff, Dallas, Texas; Robert F.; Mrs. Fannie Erwin; John Esten Cooke, editor of the Banner-Stockman, at Clarendon; and Mrs. Margaret McCormick.
Hezekiah Cantrell Cooke (1806 - 1859)
Mary Wood Cooke (1813 - 1887)
Mary A Kants Cooke (1839 - 1908)*
Annie Cooke Briggs (1861 - 1944)*
Robert Cooke (1863 - 1917)*
Fannie Cooke Erwin (1868 - 1939)*
John Esten Cooke (1873 - 1940)*
Margarette Cooke McCormick (1876 - 1934)*
William Henderson Cooke (1830 - 1907)
John Brazelton Cooke (1832 - 1886)*
Robert Fielding Cooke (1834 - 1898)*
Mary Jane Cooke Kantz (1840 - 1915)*
Washington L Cooke (1843 - 1850)*
Eliza Elvira Cooke Trew (1848 - 1902)*
James B. Cooke (1853 - 1935)*
Hezekiah Cantrell Cooke (1858 - 1929)*
Created by: Mary Hubbard Miller
Record added: Jul 07, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 54612259